Auburn research team aims to protect data on Internet

13 Dec

Devin Cook, a doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, is working alongside professor Drew Hamilton to ensure that information stored on virtual cloud drives is kept safe.

Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering is responding to a crisis facing the United States – the country’s need for digital forensic experts – and is tackling head on the challenge of keeping our information safe and secure.

Drew Hamilton, alumni professor in Computer Science and Software Engineering and director of Auburn’s Information Assurance Center, is teaching the next generation of cyber security specialists and leading a multidisciplinary team of Auburn researchers, called the Cyber Task Force, to bolster education in cyber security and bring awareness to the field. Auburn is a National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence in both cyber security education and research.

Working alongside Hamilton is doctoral student Devin Cook, who is researching ways to keep information on virtual cloud drives secure. Cook and his research team use artificial intelligence techniques to train a detector that monitors a cloud drive and seeks out suspicious activity. Once an intrusion has been detected, the computer can be paused to ensure that no further intrusions take place until the situation is reviewed or the cloud drive can be rolled back to a known good state, as if the intrusion has not occurred.

“We are focusing less on keeping the bad guys out and more on keeping them from stealing useful information once they’re into the cloud server,” he said. “It turns out that trying to prevent the intrusion itself is a losing battle. There will always be a way in.”

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